5 worst wine spelling mistakes

Cathy Marston shares all the hilarious typos that come with wine writing.

09 May 2012

Bad spelling really, really irritates me, mainly because there is absolutely no need for it anymore. Since most people use computers to write tasting notes, blogs, reports on wines etc – haven’t they ever noticed that little crinkly red line which appears under certain words?
Does it never occurred to you that perhaps there is something not quite right about the sentence and maybe you should click on it and check?
I don’t know if it’s just the wine industry that suffers from this, but I certainly think we get more than our fair share. So here are my Top 5 Wine Spelling Mistakes, the ones I see most often and the ones which never fail to set my teeth on edge.

Unless, of course, you know any better ones…

Tied for 5th Place – Semillon and Riesling
My eyes – we have trouble with our ‘i’s don’t we? Didn’t your teacher ever drum into you “i before e, except after c”? Mine certainly did. And why do you need to add an extra ‘i’ into Semillon to make it ‘Semillion’? Drink this and you’ll win the lottery? You wish.

4th Place – Complement
No wine EVER ‘compliments’ food, mainly because wine can’t talk. It might ‘complement’ as in match or marry with food, but ‘compliment’ as in say nice, admiring things? No, never.

3rd Place – Vineyard
A vineyard is a place where you grow vines. With an ‘e’. A ‘vinyard’ – if it were to exist at all – would probably be a yard full of French wine. And Lord knows the French would never leave their wine anywhere as prosaic or common as a yard.

2nd Place – Terroir
I always enjoy seeing this misspelled, mainly because I love to read about the great and good carrying out a tasting of small dog’s bottoms - the picture I have of this in my mind is absolutely priceless! So if you don’t want to get arrested for bestiality –
terroir = mysterious combination of soil, climate, grapes, aspect etc
terrior = small, furry, yappy dog (and yes, I do know it’s more commonly spelt ‘terrier’ but apparently both are acceptable).

And (drumroll) in
1st Place – Palate
I, and several other spelling-Nazis, put this out on twitter at regular intervals and I STILL see it misspelled all over the place. So here, again, with a plea to anyone who is anything to do with wine to have this tattooed on your forehead, are the actual definitions:
Palette = artist’s wooden paint-mixing tablet
Pallet = large wooden base used to stack lots of wine boxes on and lifted by a fork lift truck
Palate = the taste of a wine and a part of your mouth.

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